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Anticipating an oil crisis

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  • Matt Hohmeister
    I just got around to reading the latest _Carfree Times_, and the headline Oil at $380 in 2015? without a doubt caught my eyes. I am one of those people
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
      I just got around to reading the latest _Carfree Times_, and the headline "Oil at $380 in
      2015?" without a doubt caught my eyes.

      I am one of those people actually willing to tell myself that YES, a major oil crisis is a close
      reality and I need to get ready for it. I'm not going to continue to make payments on a
      Ford Expedition, telling myself that things will stay "exactly the way they are" forever.
      Don't tell anyone I believe in an oil crisis, though--I don't want to lose my American
      citizenship. ;-)

      In about 1.5 years, my wife and I will be in the market to buy a house--1500-2000 square
      feet, $150-200k. Unfortunately, houses in Tallahassee of this size in good areas consist of
      absolutely nothing but suburban houses. While twin and row houses do exist, they do not
      exist in the sense as I remember them growing up in our lively neighborhood in
      Philadelphia.

      It looks like our house will most likely be a 1950s-1970s ranch house within 2 miles of
      downtown. Yes, I know it'd be a typical suburban tract house, but I find many
      1950s-1970s suburban houses very architecturally attractive--those built before home
      construction went to hell in the 1980s with increasingly shoddy construction methods and
      and the modern McMansion style. In Tallahassee, any neighborhood developed in the
      1960s or earlier will have city bus service to within half a mile.

      Here's my big question: how will things change, and how will we cope with them? What will
      a sharp spike in energy prices and reduction in availability do? Will we be walking down
      our mega-wide suburban streets in the dead silence like some sort of science fiction
      movie?

      I'm 24 years old, and I'll be 34 in 2015, at which point oil might very well be $380 per
      barrel. I want to be optimistic about this change, and I wonder what social and political
      change this would bring about. Time will tell.
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